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S'pore workers job-hunting, IT professionals in high demand

Though Singapore's unemployment rates are near a four-year high, more workers are looking to change jobs while IT and financial companies find employees hard to come by, finds survey.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor on

Despite the depressed market conditions and increased unemployment rates in Singapore, IT talent is still hard to come by, according to an employment trends survey by human resource (HR) and recruitment firm, Randstad.

This comes as Singapore's Ministry of Manpower's (MoM) latest preliminary statistics show unemployment rose to 3.4 percent in the third quarter of 2009.

According to the Randstad survey, more than half, or 55 percent, of employers believe that there is still a shortage of talent available to them in their industries.

Karin Clarke, Randstad's regional director, said focusing on the unemployment rate "can be misleading".

"While the overall unemployment rate may be near a four-year high, some sectors continue to find it tough to find talent, with employers in IT and financial services, in particular, looking to hire and finding it hard to secure the people they want," Clarke said in a statement.

However, the MoM report also showed that the number of people getting employed increased by 15,400, with significant increases in the services and construction industries. Commenting on the report, Clarke said these figures suggest that many Singaporeans who wanted to change their jobs over the last year "opted for job security and held back".

But with dissatisfaction at their workplace and "positive indicators pointing toward a gradual recovery" as push factors, employers might find it difficult to retain workers.

"As the recovery gathers pace, [employers] will need to focus on ensuring staff are happy, motivated and receiving competitive remuneration and benefits, to prevent them looking for new jobs," said Clarke.

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